THE BLOG
05/21/2013 06:25 pm ET | Updated Jul 20, 2013

Mobility Takes a Swipe at Jobs

The rapid acceleration of technology has changed the way that people work, communicate and live their lives. As a result mainstream careers have changed and will continue to change. Mobile devices are one of the key technologies that is changing industries and jobs and creating a need for an educated and highly skilled worker in the future. By 2020 75% of the jobs will require some type of technical training. Mobility is one of the technologies driving this change.

A mobile device is a handheld device (phone, tablet) or a small hand held computer. It typically has a display screen with touch input and/or a miniature keyboard. Devices weigh less than two pounds and many have Wi-Fi, GPS, cameras and media players.

Mobility is creating one of the fastest growing technology career sectors in the U.S. and the world. As the technology develops and adoption increases it may also replace jobs.

5 jobs that could be displaced by mobile technology

The bank teller whose role is already partially replaced by ATM technology may not be needed on site once mobile payment systems become mainstream.

The waiter/waitress, whose role is already aided with ordering tablets may no longer be needed other than to drop off table food as establishments enable individuals order from their own mobile devices or self-service kiosks

The classroom professor whose role has already changed from in classroom to online may be needed less as an instructor and more as a virtual coach or to provide content expertise.

The ticket attendant and personnel who physically collect tickets on trains, movies, and airports may no longer be needed as mobile ticketing expands.

The retail cashier is another position that has transitioned due to technology. Bar codes, self-service checkout has reduced the number of cashiers required to service retail establishments. Some establishments such as JC Penney's have already announced personnel cut backs and other such as Safeway is transitioning to mobile device and software applications for customers.

"I am seeing the change in the demand for contractors moving away from purely rote roles that require basic skills to those that require technical proficiency with mobile devices and applications and basic PC skills." Say Anne Angelopoulos, Senior recruiter for JustStaff a national staffing firm specializing in contracting work. As consumers use technology industry need to adapt and employees need to be skilled so they can be effective in their jobs."

Mobility changes the way we live, play, and look for work

When most of us think about mobility and careers we think about applying for jobs on our mobile devices. According to a study by Potentialpark in 2011 one out of five job seekers use their mobile devices for career related purposes. The most popular use of the mobile device was to search for a job, followed by receiving job alerts, tracking application status, checking calendars for career related events, and reading about recruiting.

"Over the years the firms we staff for have increased their mobile capabilities to respond to the needs of the applicant base" Says Gary Daugenti, VP, Managing Director, Gent and Associates, a national recruiting firm. "In addition, I see an increase an increase in mobile technology related positions."

Ensure your career mobility by looking at future trends

The largest opportunity for mobile devices may be entrepreneurial opportunities especially in key sectors where mobile device are already filling a need.

According to a 2012 report released by the World Bank and info Dev.gov, mobile devices have become a major opportunity to create entrepreneurial opportunities throughout the globe. Key sectors with opportunities include agriculture, health, government and finance. The report states that over three-quarters of the world's population have mobile devices. It projects that this number will increase to the point where there will be more devices than people. There were one billion subscriptions in the year 2000 and in 2012 over six billion with the majority of devices in developing countries (five billion).

Mobile Agriculture: Some of the mobile services and applications in mAgriculture include: improving access to lending and insurance, mobile information platform, farmer helplines, management of supplier networks, mobile management of distribution network, agriculture trading, and bartering platforms.

Mobile Health: Some of the services and applications in the mHealth sector include: remote patient tracking, monitoring and surveillance of disease outbreaks, medical advice, tele-nursing, tele-radiology, tele-psychiatry and self-management.

Mobile Government: Some of the services and applications in mGovernment include: mobile tools to add a channel to the existing government services, mobile tools to expand government services to reach underserved populations and mobile tools to develop new channels for services delivery and governance.

Mobile financial services: Some of the services and application in the mFinance sector include mobile finance -- credit, insurance and savings; mobile banking -- transactional and informational; and mobile payment- person to person, government to person and business to business.

Mobile device jobs at firms

In addition to entrepreneurial opportunities a number of firms in multiple sectors are hiring for jobs that are created by the mobile technologies with salaries that range from $30k-$110k. On a 2013 website search on the job board, Indeed.

The following job openings were posted by a number of firms: Android Developer, Senior Desktop and mobile device analyst; Mobile device quality engineer, Mobile device support specialist, Mobile device engineers, mobile device management. "Many of these jobs require a foundation in computer science or engineering," says Jennifer Brent, Senior Recruiter, Technology Sector, Gent & Associates, "but they are in high demand and pay well."

What this means for you. The rapid acceleration of technology is changing the way people work, communicate and live their lives. As a result many of the mainstream jobs and careers have changed and will continue to change. Individuals need to continually hone their skills, keep on top of the shifting trends, and learn technology to ensure longer term employability.

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti is a leading thought leader on career development. She is the author of ten books, a regular media contributor, and global speaker.